Seeking honesty in U.S. policy:
EX-U.S. DIPLOMAT SAYS WHITE HOUSE IS IN FULL RETREAT FROM IRAQ REALITY
Joseph Wilson (Sept. 14, 2003) Mercury News
One way the administration stopped the debate was to oversell its intelligence. I know, because I was in the middle of the efforts to determine whether Iraq had attempted to purchase uranium ``yellowcake'' -- a form of lightly processed ore -- from Africa.
At the request of the administration I traveled to the West African nation of Niger in February 2002 to check out the allegation. I reported that such a sale was highly unlikely, but my conclusions -- as well as the same conclusions from our ambassador on the scene and from a four-star Marine Corps general -- were ignored by the White House.
Instead, the president relied upon an unsubstantiated reference in a British white paper to underpin his argument in the State of the Union address that Saddam was reconstituting his nuclear weapons programs. How many times did we hear the president, vice president and others speak of the looming threat of an Iraqi mushroom cloud?
Until several months ago, when it came out that the country was Niger, I assumed that the president had been referring to another African country. After I learned, belatedly to be sure, I came forward to insist that the administration correct the misstatements of fact. But the damage had already been done.
Dangerously high levels of radiation measured around Baghdad
Staff Report (Sept. 1, 2003) Express [London] via Environmentalists Against War
Levels between 1,000 and 1,900 times higher than normal were recorded at
four sites around the Iraqi capital where depleted uranium (DU) munitions
have been used across wide areas.
The Corporate Looting of Iraq
Sara Flounders (July 24, 2003) Workers World via Globalresearch
Decisions are being made, multi-billion-dollar contracts signed and basic industries sold off or closed down by U.S. corporate executives without any Iraqi participation. These decisions will affect the future of Iraq for years to come. All this has been done before there is even an appointed government in place.
Want to criticise the Israelis for shooting stone-throwers in Gaza? The US does the same in Falujah
Robert Fisk (July 12, 2003) Independent
A few days ago, the American forces in Baghdad drove 17 truckloads of rubble and dirt up to the secret military area of Baghdad airport to air-freight to the United States. No journalists reported on this macabre operation, even if they knew about it. For the muck came from the site of an atrocity committed by the US Air Force at the end of its bombardment of Iraq.
- Iraq's Day will Dawn Again: A Roundup and Analysis of the Summer After
Jack Smith (July 1, 2003) Mid-Hudson Activist Newsletter
To conclude, the people of Iraq today are educated, cultured, well-read and knowledgeable about their country's long and important history, including the many, many centuries when Mesopotamia was dominated by over a half-dozen different invading empires. In the modern era, they have not forgotten that when Lt. Gen. Sir Stanley Maude led the invading army of the British Empire into Baghdad in 1917 to wrest Iraq from the Ottoman Empire, he proclaimed, "Our armies do not come into your cities and lands as conquerors or enemies, but as liberators," a pledge repeated by President Bush 86 years later, with approximately as much sincerity. Three years after Maude's pronouncement, the Iraqi people understood they were once again the subjects of foreign empire. Their four-month rebellion against British imperialism in 1920 cost them at least 10,000 lives.
In time, after experiencing several attempts at insurrection and no longer able to sustain the accouterments of its ever-shrinking empire, the British withdrew, leaving a puppet monarchy to govern in its place. Eventually, the Iraqi people deposed the monarchy, gained real independence and nationalized the oil resources that had been so profitable to British companies.
Over the years the governing Ba'ath Party initiated a number of progressive economic and social policies . from national healthcare to female equality . and consistently defended Iraq's independence, sovereignty and policy of secular governance. In time, however, Iraq's Ba'athist movement lost its original idealism, and the government adopted certain policies in contradiction to the interests of the Iraqi people, such as the repression of the left, discrimination against the Shia and Kurds, and the unjust, U.S.-supported war against Iran in the 1980s. President Hussein's miscalculation that Washington would ignore his 1990 campaign to reclaim Kuwait (which Baghdad considers a creature of British imperialism stolen from Iraq), provided the U.S. with the opportunity to launch the pathetically unequal 1991 war against Iraq, followed by the catastrophe of killer sanctions for the next dozen years until March 20 when Bush of Baghdad transformed the Iraqi people into the unwilling subjects of yet another empire.
But having once broken its shackles, will this ancient people passively submit to foreign domination? The history of recent decades suggests not. The current incipient guerrilla campaign is a just expression of national defense against imperialism, deserving of support. It may or may not develop into a full-blown uprising, but we suspect that the United States has stumbled into a complex new quagmire from whence it had best depart with dispatch. Much sooner than later, Iraq's day will dawn again.
- Ron Kovic Reborn
Tim Gilmer (June 20, 2003) New Mobility via Alternet
"We're putting all of these millions of dollars into warfare when the disabled of our country, disabled veterans and disabled citizens, are in need. Many of them live below the poverty level," says the man whose life was portrayed onscreen in 1989 by Tom Cruise. "This policy of aggression, this policy of arrogance, of blindness, of recklessness, I don't think this is going to help America. I think that this behavior, which I abhor, this policy, which I strongly disagree with, is leading this country in the wrong direction."
- Wolfowitz: Iraq war was about oil
George Wright (June 4, 2003) Guardian
The US deputy defence secretary, Paul Wolfowitz - who has already undermined Tony Blair's position over weapons of mass destruction (WMD) by describing them as a "bureaucratic" excuse for war - has now gone further by claiming the real motive was that Iraq is "swimming" in oil.
- Global Showdown in Evian
Mark Engler (May 29, 2003) FPIF
The example of Iraq illustrates a point that protestors
from the Jubilee debt relief coalition have made for
years: much of the debt held by countries in the
developing world is in fact "odious"--the result of
loans that wealthy creditors made to tyrannical
governments. It is simply inhumane for G-8 countries,
including the U.S., to saddle impoverished citizens
with these debts after the dictators fall. If wealthy
countries are serious about aiding freedom, they must
recognize the illegitimacy not only of Iraq's
obligations, but of all odious debt.
- The U.S. and Post-War Iraq: An Analysis
Stephen Zunes (May 2003) FPIF
Even putting aside the tens of thousands of Iraqis who have engaged in anti-American demonstrations in recent weeks--some of which have been met by gunfire from U.S. occupation forces--there is a pervasive sense of ambiguity among ordinary Iraqis regarding the U.S. invasion and occupation. What few Americans are willing to recognize at this stage is the fact that most Iraqis--including strong opponents of Saddam Hussein's regime--simply do not trust the United States....
The bottom line is this: The U.S. must pursue a foreign policy based more upon human rights, international law, and sustainable development and less on military conquest and occupation, arms transfers, and the profiteering of U.S.-based corporations. Developing such a new posture in the Middle East would not only be more consistent with America's stated values, it would also make us a lot safer.
- Iraq: Basra: Unprotected Munitions Injure Civilians
News Release (May 6, 2003) HRW
Civilians are being wounded by abandoned ordnance in Basra, Iraq, because British forces have failed to secure weapons caches, Human Rights Watch said today.
- TV Not Concerned by Cluster Bombs, DU:
'That's just the way life is in Iraq'
Action Alert (May 6, 2003) FAIR
According to a May 5 search of the Nexis database, there have been no
in-depth reports about cluster bombs on ABC, CBS or NBC's nightly news
programs since the start of the war. There have been, however, a few
passing mentions of cluster bombs-- enough so that viewers may be aware of
their existence. Not so with depleted uranium. Since the beginning of
the year, the words "depleted uranium" have not been uttered once on ABC
World News Tonight, CBS Evening News or NBC Nightly News, according to
- U.S. Struggles in Quicksand of Iraq
Alissa J. Rubin (May 5, 2003) LATimes
On many fronts, U.S. officials appear to have been unprepared for
what awaited them in Iraq, from mundane concerns such as how to cope
with the lack of telephones to philosophical questions such as how to
respond to the desire of many Iraqis for an Islamic state.
- Selective Intelligence
Seymour Hersch (May 5, 2003) NewYorker
In Congress, a senior legislative aide said, 'Some members are beginning to ask and to wonder, but cautiously.' For now, he told me, 'the members don't have the confidence to say that the Administration is off base.' He also commented, 'For many, it makes little difference. We vanquished a bad guy and liberated the Iraqi people. Some are astute enough to recognize that the alleged imminent W.M.D. threat to the U.S. was a pretext. I sometimes have to pinch myself when friends or family ask with incredulity about the lack of W.M.D., and remind myself that the average person has the idea that there are mountains of the stuff over there, ready to be tripped over. The more time elapses, the more people are going to wonder about this, but I don’t think it will sway U.S. public opinion much. Everyone loves to be on the winning side.'
- A democracy of convenience
Matthew Riemer (May 5, 2003) YellowTimes
When "democracy" (or, at least, non-dictatorship) happens to be Washington's goal (even rhetorically), it can make for a great sell, as was surely seen over the past several weeks. On the other hand, just because "dictatorship" can't be as readily sold to the public doesn't mean interventions that empower despotic regimes are off-limits. Forays like the CIA's in Iran aren't only for days gone by. In fact, the current situation in Venezuela resembles Iran fifty years ago quite uncannily: upstart leader connected to nationalization of the oil industry from a country with regional strategic importance is overthrown by a plutocratic/military class in the interests of corporations and foreign capital. And even though President Hugo Chavez was able to return to power, the pattern of regime change aimed at governments who resist globalization and the infiltration of their countries by foreign capital continued. So, in Venezuela, like Iran, it's dictatorship over democracy.
First U.S. Truth March Roars Down Fifth Avenue
Press Release (May 4, 2003) TruthMarch
As the Truth March passed the Metropolitan Museum of Art, a paper-maiche statue of George Bush was assembled at record speed amidst the crowd of hundreds of onlookers and police that had gathered on the Museum‚s steps, and arose some 14-feet before you could say "Saddam Hussein." One activist (reportedly from Brooklyn) draped an Earth Flag over his head and, without the help of a US crane, toppled the statue. Dozens took part in dancing on top if it. The parade continued, dragging the statue‚s head and other parts through the streets, to the cheers of many onlookers.
Death By Slow Burn - How America Nukes Its Own Troops: What 'Support Our Troops' Really Means
Amy Worthington (May 2, 2003) Idaho Observer via Sierra Times
Naive young coalition soldiers now in Iraq are likely unaware of how deadly their battlefield environment is. Gulf War I troops were kept in ignorance. Soldiers handled DU fragments and some wore these lethal nuggets around their necks. A DU projectile emits more radiation in five hours than allowed in an entire year under civilian radiation exposure standards. "We didn't know any better," Kris Kornkven told Nation magazine. "We didn't find out until long after we were home that there even was such a thing as DU."
US Fails to Fulfill Obligation to Support Health Care System in Iraq, Posing Threat to Health of Iraqi People
Press Release (May 2, 2003) Doctors Without Borders
The US-led coalition has failed to meet its responsibility under international humanitarian law to ensure that the health and well-being of the Iraqi people is being provided for, Medecins Sans Frontieres/Doctors Without Borders (MSF) stated Friday.
ILWU resolution demands immediate withdrawal from Iraq
ILWU Local 10 (May 1, 2003) LaborNet
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED: That we demand that the U.S. military immediately withdraw from Iraq and the Middle East and recognize the right of the Arab peoples to self-determination free of foreign interference.
Invasion won't make Iraq a democracy
Bruce Luske (Apr. 19, 2003) Poughkeepsie Journal
Iraq is likely to stay tribally divided and disrupted for years to come. Since the best predictor of future behavior is past behavior, the chance for a democratic Iraq is remote. Of the 22 sovereign nations that the United States has invaded since World War II in the name of ''creating democracy,'' none -- that's right, zero -- have become democracies. The U.S. government may prefer quasi-democratic social institutions (like those in the United States), but it does not care whether a particular government is authoritarian, ruthless and cruel. The United States, in fact, supports brutal regimes everywhere, just so long as these governments are willing to ensure that U.S. corporations are able to dominate and profit from the nation's strategic, industrial, mineral, agricultural and/or human resources. Iraq is of course no exception to this foreign policy.
Bechtel Gets Jackpot Iraq Contract
Matthew Goldstein (Apr. 17, 2003) The Street
The U.S. Agency for International Development awarded the contract, which could pay up to $680 million, on Thursday. Bechtel had been seen as the front-runner for the contract.
Who Covered The War Best? Try al-Jazeera
Francis Hasso (Apr. 17, 2003) Newsday
In covering the war, al-Jazeera was unique in the number of independent reporting teams distributed throughout the region, some of whom have been beaten by Kurdish forces, banned by Iraqi government officials, and reprimanded almost daily by U.S., Iraqi, Kuwaiti, Saudi, Jordanian and other state and military officials at press conferences. These states recognize the destabilizing potential of al-Jazeera's brash willingness to ask difficult questions and give voice to the marginalized majority.
Briefing on Iraq’s Future: What Now?
Jessica Matthews, etal (Apr. 17, 2003) Carnegie/C-SPAN
As the military operations in Iraq wind down, important questions remain for the country and its people. The U.S. government has critical choices to make about political transition, its search for weapons of mass destruction, and how to manage Iraqi oil fields. The Carnegie Endowment holds a briefing to discuss these issues and next steps for Iraq, for the United States, and the world. [audio available at Carnegie link above, video available at C-SPAN: Carnegie Endowment Panel on Iraq's Future]
Under American Eyes: Not Liberation, but the End of the Beginning of History
Samir Rebeiz (Apr. 17, 2003) IWPR
Dr. Lamia Gailani, one of Iraq’s most respected archaelogists, had warned both the State Department and the Pentagon that the National Museum could be looted. American archeologists familiar with Iraq had given US officials maps on which they had marked sites to look out for. UNESCO had impressed upon the US administration that Iraq is the cradle of civilisation, the repository of many icons of human achievement.
BUILDING A PEACE AND JUSTICE MOVEMENT IN THE NEW AGE OF EMPIRE
Harry Targ (Apr. 16, 2003) email
What can be done to nourish and expand the
movement for peace and justice? A consensus seems to
be emerging in the peace movement that over the
next several months, perhaps years, grassroots
organizing-networking across neighborhoods,
churches, union locals, and civic groups-will be
central. In the U.S. one-third to 40 percent of the
population probably supports war and the Bush
foreign policy agenda. Perhaps one-third are
inalterably opposed. This leaves another third
undecided, confused, or marginally supportive of
the war on Iraq. The target of grassroots work
must be to bring the undecided people into the
peace and justice camp. Perhaps what will
drive them into the anti-war camp will be fiscal
crises at state and local levels, economic stagnation
and job loss, the dismantling of our meager health
care system, the continued marginalization of public
schools, and crumbling infrastructure all around
nation. People should be reminded of the fact that
while economic crisis grows by the days and weeks,
the administration increases defense spending to
a record $400 billion and plans to cut taxes on the
Why the Peace Movement was Right
Arianna Huffington (Apr. 16, 2003) Arianna Online
Well, it turns out that, far from being on the verge of destroying Western civilization, Saddam and his 21st century Gestapo couldn't even muster a half-hearted defense of their own capital. The hawks' cakewalk disproves their own dire warnings. They can't have it both ways. The invasion has proved wildly successful in one other regard: It has unified most of the world -- especially the Arab world -- against us.
Iraq: Anti-US protests growing
SA (Apr. 15, 2003) News 24
Exasperated US military officials tried to hamper the media from covering new demonstrations in Baghdad while some 20 000 people in the Shiite Muslim bastion of Nasiriyah railed against a US-staged meeting on Iraq's future.
Library books, letters and priceless documents are set ablaze in final chapter of the sacking of Baghdad
Robert Fisk (Apr. 15, 2003) Independent
When I caught sight of the Koranic library burning flames 100 feet high were bursting from the windows I raced to the offices of the occupying power, the US Marines' Civil Affairs Bureau. An officer shouted to a colleague that "this guy says some biblical [sic] library is on fire". I gave the map location, the precise name in Arabic and English. I said the smoke could be seen from three miles away and it would take only five minutes to drive there. Half an hour later, there wasn't an American at the scene and the flames were shooting 200 feet into the air.
There was a time when the Arabs said that their books were written in Cairo, printed in Beirut and read in Baghdad. Now they burn libraries in Baghdad. In the National Archives were not just the Ottoman records of the Caliphate, but even the dark years of the country's modern history, handwritten accounts of the 1980-88 Iran-Iraq war, with personal photographs and military diaries,and microfiche copies of Arabic newspapers going back to the early 1900s.
But the older files and archives were on the upper floors of the library where petrol must have been used to set fire so expertly to the building. The heat was such that the marble flooring had buckled upwards and the concrete stairs that I climbed had been cracked.
Kurds expel Arabs from their homes
C. J. Chivers (Apr. 15, 2003) The Age
Days after seizing control of Kirkuk, an ethnically diverse city astride Iraq's northern oilfield, Kurds are forcing Arabs in outlying villages to move from their homes. This has left hamlets nearly abandoned and crowded some families into wheat fields that have become home to hastily erected camps.
Blood on the steps of the mosque
Paul McGeough (Apr. 15, 2003) The Age
The overlapping relationship between SCIRI and al Dawa is not clear. But fundamentalist, anti-Western supporters of al Dawa are said to be very active since Saddam's demise - they have taken control of Saddam City, a slum area of Baghdad that is home to about 2 million Shiites and on Sunday they renamed it Medina Sadr, or Sadr City.
Bush vetoes Syria war plan
Julian Borger, et al (Apr. 15, 2003) Guardian
In the past few weeks, the US defence secretary, Donald Rumsfeld, ordered contingency plans for a war on Syria to be reviewed following the fall of Baghdad.
Meanwhile, his undersecretary for policy, Doug Feith, and William Luti, the head of the Pentagon's office of special plans, were asked to put together a briefing paper on the case for war against Syria, outlining its role in supplying weapons to Saddam Hussein, its links with Middle East terrorist groups and its allegedly advanced chemical weapons programme. Mr Feith and Mr Luti were both instrumental in persuading the White House to go to war in Iraq....
However, President George Bush, who faces re-election next year with two perilous nation-building projects, in Afghanistan and Iraq, on his hands, is said to have cut off discussion among his advisers about the possibility of taking the "war on terror" to Syria.
- US rejects Iraq depleated uranium clean-up
(Apr. 14, 2003) SF IndyMedia
The US says it has no plans to remove the debris left over from depleted uranium (DU) weapons it is using in Iraq.
- Lawrence Eagleburger: Bush Should be Impeached if He Attacks Syria
James Hardy (Apr. 14, 2003) Mirror via Truthout
Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld yesterday said there was "no question" that Syria was harbouring senior Iraqi figures. But Mr Eagleburger, who accused Syria of having an outrageous record on terror, said an extension of the war was unthinkable.
"You saw the furore that went on before the President got sufficient support to do this," he said. "This is still a democracy and public opinion rules. If George Bush decided he was going to turn troops on Syria now and then Iran he'd be in office about 15 minutes.
"If President Bush were to try it now, even I would feel he should be impeached. You can't get away with that sort off thing in a democracy."
- People in Basra Contest Official View of Siege
Keith B. Richburg (Apr. 14, 2003) Wash. Post
BASRA, Iraq -- There was nothing resembling a popular uprising against the Iraqi militiamen who controlled this city during its 13-day siege by British forces. Life continued largely as normal in many neighborhoods, with police directing traffic and residents doing their best to avoid fighting.
Doctors at local hospitals treated scores of civilians wounded by British artillery and U.S. bombs during the siege, despite briefing-room claims of pinpoint accuracy. Many others were killed.
These conclusions about life under siege emerge from a week of interviews in Basra and they differ in many ways from accounts offered by military and other sources before the city's fall. Reports of large numbers of Basra residents being forced to take up arms and militiamen firing from behind human shields were similarly not borne out in the interviews.
Scandal-Hit US Firm Wins Key Contracts
Antony Barnett (Apr. 13, 2003) The Observer via Truthout
DynCorp, which has donated more than £100,000 to the Republican Party, began recruiting for a private police force in Iraq last week on behalf of the US State Department....
While the US has promised help in bringing law and order to Iraq,[go to Riot Control at NVUSA] the involvement of DynCorp has caused concern as it has been involved in a series of recent high-profile scandals involving personnel in sensitive missions overseas.
A civilisation torn to pieces
Robert Fisk (Apr. 13, 2003) Independent
Yesterday evening, I drove through the city for more than an hour. Hundreds of streets are now barricaded off with breeze blocks, burnt cars and tree trunks, watched over by armed men who are ready to kill strangers who threaten their homes or shops. Which is just how the civil war began in Beirut in 1975.
Despite fall of Iraq regime, anti-war groups keep on marching
AFP (Apr. 12, 2003) via Yahoo
Hundreds of thousands of opponents of the US-led invasion and occupation of Iraq held new anti-war protests across Europe and the Americas, arguing that the regime's collapse was no reason to let up the pressure.
Hot Spot! Iraq
Pages 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
Resources on Iraq
Global Nonviolence Activism
(Quote:) Since 1993, Christian Peacemaker Teams has been recruiting and training individuals for the Christian Peacemaker Corps (CPC). Corps members, trained in peacemaking skills and nonviolent direct action, are available on a full-time basis to enter emergency situations of conflict and areas of militarization at the invitation of local peacemakers. Responding to Christ's call to confront injustice, its members attempt to bring the redemptive love of God to violent situations.
(From FOR's Description of Activities in the 1990's:) Sends delegations of religious leaders and peace activists to Iraq to try to prevent war and later, to see the massive devastation caused by the economic sanctions imposed upon Iraq. Starts the Campaign to Save a Generation, an ongoing project centered on saving Iraqi children from the horrors of the sanctions, and American children from the poverty rampant in the US. Launches "Stop the Killing, Start the Healing" campaign in response to escalating levels of gun violence in the United States.Initiates Bosnian Student Project, bringing students from the former Yugoslavia out of war zones and into US homes and schools, and later starts the International Reconciliation Work Camp Project. Works to bring an end to the suffering of the Serbs and Kosovars during and after the war in former Yugoslavia. Works to ensure the US military's withdrawal from Panama.
(Quote:) IFCO/Pastors for Peace is a special ministry of the Interreligious Foundation for Community Organization, created in 1988 to pioneer the delivery of humanitarian aid to Latin America and the Carribean. Since then, many thousands of people have participated in almost 35 caravans to Mexico and Central America, and 12 to Cuba!
In 1986 PeaceNet was founded in a garage in Palo Alto, California. In 1987 IGC was organized to manage PeaceNet and EcoNet.
(Quote:) The International Helsinki Federation for Human Rights is a self-governing group of non-governmental, not-for-profit organizations that act to protect human rights throughout Europe, North America, and the Central Asian republics formed from the territories of the former Soviet Union. A primary specific goal is to monitor compliance with the human rights provisions of the Helsinki Final Act and its Follow-up Documents. A secretariat based in Vienna, commonly referred to as "the IHF", supports and provides liaison among forty member "Helsinki committees" and associated human rights groups, and represents them at the international political level. The IHF also has direct links with individuals and groups supporting human rights in countries where no Helsinki committees exist. In addition to gathering and analyzing information on human rights conditions in OSCE participating States, the IHF acts as a clearing house for this information, disseminating it to governments, inter-governmental organizations, the press and the public at large. The IHF is even-handed in its criticism of human rights violations with respect to the political systems of states in which these abuses occur.
The Nonviolent Peaceforce aims to save lives by preventing large outbreaks of violent conflict around the world. NP is a trained, international civilian nonviolent peace force. It works at the invitation of local groups to protect human rights and prevent death and destruction, thus creating the space for local groups to struggle nonviolently, enter into dialogue, and seek peaceful resolution. NP will deploy hundreds of peace workers at a time who will engage in interpositioning, accompaniment, presence, and witnessing.
Hosting and information services for nonviolence groups since 1995. Please see their list of member groups.
Updated reports from the UN News Service.
We intend to deliberately violate the United States/United Nations' economic sanctions against the people of Iraq.
(Quote:) War Resisters' International was founded in 1921 under the name "Paco". It was and is based on the WRI declaration: 'War is a crime against humanity. I am therefore determined not to support any kind of war, and to strive for the removal of all causes of war.' War Resisters' International exists to promote nonviolent action against the causes of war, and to support and connect people around the world who refuse to take part in war or the preparation of war. On this basis, WRI works for a world without war.
(Quote:) Believing war to be a crime against humanity, the War Resisters League, founded in 1923,
advocates Gandhian nonviolence as the method for creating a democratic society free of war,
racism, sexism, and human exploitation.
Founded in 1983 to protest U.S.A.-sponsored violence in Nicaragua, this group continues to focus on Latin American issues, making use of civilian delegations.
(Quote:) not an organisation, but a means of
mobilization and a formula for action . . . WIB vigils were started in Israel in 1988 by women protesting
against Israel's Occupation of the West Bank and Gaza.